As DJ Controllers are getting more advanced and their array of control features multiplying exponentially at lower and lower price ranges, there has never been a time with so many different premium controllers available on the market with an equal number of useful features to choose from.
Determined to cut through the noise and spotlight what we believe is the best DJ Controller under 500, we bring you the following top picks for 2017 in order to help set the record straight.
Our review includes a comprehensive assessment of the following 2017 DJ controllers and their relative pros and cons.
First, we looked at the Pioneer DDJ-SB2 offering manual filters on every channel, MIDI controllers, and tactile performance pads that provide an impressive array of controls for an overall highly affordable DJ controller.
While the Numark Mixtrack Pro 3 has Vinyl-like Control and Effects with a very high-resolution metal jog wheel, 16 multi-function performance pads and dynamic FX control through multi-function touch strips.
Finally, we look at the Gemini G4V 4-Channel Virtual DJ Controller which includes built-in professional 24-bit PC/MAC audio interface, 4-channel mixer with 3-band EQ, Gain, and Filter control on each channel, and 8 multi-function pads and 4 rotary controls per deck!
2017’s Review The Best DJ Controller under 500
The DDJ-SB2 provides a high level of control at a very low price point with an extensive range of adjustable knobs.
Features include what you might typically expect for this controller type: Filter Fade and Performance Pads, however, this unit also boasts trim pots, level meters, and the Pad Trans beat effect with 4-deck control.
Key Features of the DDJ-SB2:
- Tactile performance pads
- Built-in soundcard
- MIDI controller
- USB powered
- Quantized Pad Trans effect
- Manual filters on every channel
- Dynamic DJ play
The Numark Mixtrack Pro 3 is one of the most comprehensive controllers we have reviewed yet based on a number of unique components.
The controller appears to be made with quality materials and comes with capacitive touch-activated platters, eight backlit rubber trigger pads with the ability to easily jump to cue points or tap out some slick samples.
The Numark Mixtrack Pro 3 controller’s dual-zone capacitive platters let you scratch, stop, or bend pitch by adjusting the sides.This unit also comes with 3-band Equalizers, a precision crossfader, and several effects knobs.
The unit’s trigger pads are not only extremely responsive but also double as playback loop controls powering samples or beats on cue.
Key Features of the Numark Mixtrack Pro 3:
- Vinyl-like Control and Effects with high-res metal jog wheels
- 16 multifunction performance pads
- Dynamic FX control through multifunction touch strips
- Audio Interface with ¼” and 1/8” headphone jacks
- High-Resolution Jog Wheels
- Two Sets of Multipurpose Trigger Pads
- Comes with Serato DJ Intro Software
Numark has released other Mixtrax Pros and this version has the most desirable features we have seen so far.
Overall, it appears to be well-suited for first time buyers or DJs just getting started and looking for affordable DJ Controllers, this unit does not cut any corners.
The Mixtrax Pro 3 has a layout that is very similar to the Numark NV with more pro-features (the NV is more expensive though).
Without the upgrade to the Serato DJ full version which will set you back another $100, this is a cheap DJ controller and comes with enough bells and whistles that got us dropping beats like a pro right out of the box.
Ladies and Gentlemen, we would like to introduce to you, The Gemini G4V, which in our opinion is the best DJ Controller under 500 we could find.
This mother of a controller supports professional sounding 24-bit PC/MAC audio interface, MIDI mapping and high-resolution controls that purportedly can be used with any DJ application.Included are standard controller features such as pitch fader, key-lock, cue triggers, sampling controls, auto loop and loop roll modes.
Included are standard controller features such as pitch fader, key-lock, cue triggers, sampling controls, auto loop and loop roll modes.
It has a standard alpha fader.The unit was pretty heavy, weighing at about 11 lbs. with a steel body and full spectrum of controls. Despite its rugged design, the unit was surprisingly free of clutter.
As a 4 channel DJ controller, this unit is priced lower than any other 4 channel controller we could find on the market.
Key Features of the Gemini G4V:
- USB/MIDI software controller
- Built-in professional 24-bit PC/MAC audio interface
- 4-channel mixer with 3-band EQ, Gain, and Filter control on each channel
- Pre-mapped FX controls for Virtual DJ
- 8 multi-function pads and 4 rotary controls per deck
- Includes quick keys for Hot Cues, Auto-Loop, Sampler, and Manual Loop
- Touch-sensitive jog wheels
- Responsive controls with high-resolution MIDI
- Midi mapping functionality over the entire controller
- Front 1/4” microphone input with Gain control
- Auxiliary RCA line input
- Balanced XLR & RCA master outputs, RCA booth output with dedicated volume control, and front 1/4” headphone output
Being our pick for the best DJ controller under 500, the Gemini G4V does not have revolutionary controls, but from our assessment of its reliability, low cost, rugged build, and full feature set mentioned above, Gemini might serve as a solid controller for most all DJs.
For the cost and number of features, this unit includes, G4V is at the top of our list.The product looked good, was well-built, had hefty mechanical jog wheels, and an impressive level of control functionality. The 4 channels and VU meters are just icing on the cake.
The Gemini is our top pick and rivaled both the Numark and the Pioneer for this price range. The Gemini is a steel Controller that is built to last longer than the Numark or Pioneer.
In terms of inputs and outputs, the Gemini featured more professional options including balanced XLR and RCA master outputs.
Based on all of the features we compared, the clear winner of this roundup is the Gemini.